Abe, the cute and fluffy therapy dog at Seattle Children’s Hospital, is retiring after his 11 years of service.

Abe’s beginnings

Judith Bonifaci, Abe’s owner, was grieving about the loss of her Golden Retriever. Her friend suggested getting another dog to fill the hole in her heart. Judith vowed that the next dog that she would own must have a purpose because she wanted to pay forward all the love, joy, and care that her previous dog gave her.

Judith was on the hunt to find the perfect Golden Retriever to make her plans feasible. She wanted a Golden Retriever since the breed was known for its intelligence and trainability. Moreover, Golden Retrievers had a gentle, calm, and outgoing personality.

When Judith met Abe, she knew that he was the one that she was looking for.

Judith enrolled Abe into extensive obedience and specialized therapy dog training. Surprisingly, Abe was a natural! Abe passed the assessment and became one of the youngest dogs to be a certified therapy dog.

Abe as a therapy dog

At 14 months, Abe was now on the roll to fulfill her duties and responsibilities as a therapy dog. He would go with Judith to school to spend time with her students. As soon as he reached 24 months, Abe moved to do therapy work at the hospital. He became one of the visiting canine ambassadors at Seattle Children’s Hospital.

Whenever Abe visits the hospital, he seems to know where to go and visit. He will sometimes go to a patient’s room that isn’t on their list. He has this special ability to know who are the people who needed him most.

Abe faithfully visited Seattle Children’s Hospital for 11 years. Now 13 years old, he had started to slow down due to his spine and throat problems. The weekly visit to the hospital became tiresome to him. Judith had decided to retire Abe from being a therapy dog and enjoy his retirement years at home.

Jackie, Judith’s other dog, will continue with Abe’s legacy. She is now undergoing training on becoming a certified therapy dog.

Thank you, Abe, for your service! Thank you for visiting sick children and making them forget the pain that they’re feeling at the moment. Enjoy your retirement years!

Video courtesy of SeattleChildrens via YouTube


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